New Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis

New Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis Glossary

anal stage

see "sexual stages of childhood"


the energy spent (usually by the ego) to counter an object-cathexis; the conflict between the two can often cause great anxiety


see "object-cathexis"


the tendency of dream-thoughts to combine disparate, unrelated elements or entities into new unities that represent the wish-fulfillment that inspired the dream


the study of human psychology as a layered structure of many regions, including the unconscious


the process by which dreams strip and displace affects, associations, and other content from ideas and relocate them elsewhere; an element of how dreams distort the wish that prompted the dream

dream work

the process by which the dream turns a wish into a dream's manifest content, which the analyst must then unpack to identify the wish that initially inspired the dream


the region of mental life associated with conscious, intentional thought and self-awareness; the region of the psyche which must interact directly with external reality


a model image of the ego, which is desired as its highest possible form

erogenous zone

the area of the body with which an infant (or grown adult) is infatuated during the stages of sexuality


Freud's term for the unconscious, a dark chaos of instinctual urges and logical contradiction; the repository of repressed, unconscious desires that conform solely to the pleasure principle


the process by which children learn to model their egos on their parents' egos

latent content

the underlying chain of the id's associations, impulses, and cathexes that direct the manifest content of the dream; the wish that initially inspired the dream

manifest content

the apparent content (or visual representation) of a dream as it manifests itself to the dreamer; what the dreamer experiences during the dream


the tendency to derive pleasure, esp. sexual gratification, from one's own pain or humiliation


the capacity to move about and to direct actions toward particular ends; Freud uses the term to refer to the way the mind is shut out from the outside world during sleep, which allows the id to indulge in the hallucinatory satisfaction of dreams


a mental condition caused by a psychic imbalance, and manifesting itself though external symptoms


the plural form of "object-cathexis"


the libidinal attachment of energy to a particular entity, object, or individual; a strong attraction, rooted in the sexual drive, from an individual to an external object or person

oral stage

see "sexual stages of childhood"

phallic stage

see "sexual stages of childhood"

pleasure principle

the inherent drive to sustain pleasure, which temporarily alleviates the suffering and anxiety of life


a severe mental disorder in which thought and emotions are so impaired that contact is lost with external reality

reality principle

the external world and its demands, which are in conflict with the drive to pleasure reflected in the id


Freud's technical term for the conscious and unconscious obstacles the patient presents to the work of analysis


the tendency to derive pleasure, esp. sexual gratification, from inflicting pain, suffering, or humiliation on others

sexual stages of childhood

in Freud's theories, there are three stages of early sexuality: the oral stage lasts until around age two, and involves an infant's preoccupation with its mouth; the anal stage lasts until around age three, and involves an infant's preoccupation with its anus; and the phallic stage, in which the infant becomes aware of its genitalia


the overseeing entity that takes on the three key functions of: conscience, self-observation, and maintenance of the ego-ideal


Freud's term for psychic communication that appears to take place without language or signs


the unconscious movement of thoughts, associations, and impulses from one person to another, especially between an analyst and patient during analysis


for Freud, a key experience at an early age (of anxiety, fear, or physical hurt) that plays a formative role in psychic life for years to come


the German term for a particular concept or worldview that attempts to solve all problems of existence through a unifying premise; a meaning of life philosophy